JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — Rain is the only thing that will help salvage many lawns in North Carolina scorched by the hot, dry weather.
The dry conditions have left some businesses without any business at all. Some lawn care companies are drying up right along with the grass.
If the rain does not fall, the grass does not grow, and Mike Perry cannot mow.
Perry's customers simply do not need his lawn care services during a drought.
"A lot of them are just calling and saying 'Don't come and cut the grass. It's just drying up.' That's the bottom line," he said.
While he wait for rain, Perry works in his backyard garden in Johnston County to kill time.
"We have a lot of equipment that's just sitting idle right now and we need to get it fired up and cutting some grass," he said.
In Cary, Jay Perry, no relation to Mike, is working his crews any way he can to keep them busy.
"I think if we could get about two or three days of good soaking rain that we could get things back to where we could work a little bit," he said.
"We are having to blow off the yard, pick up sticks, and pull a lot of weeds. We are putting out a lot of mulch and pine straw trying to take up the slack time for the mowing," he said.
This time of year, there generally is not much slack time for Jay or his crews.
"This has been one of the worst I've seen, and, you know, I've been in business for 16 years," Jay said.
If a silver lining can be found in the lack of clouds and business, it may be a flood of calls that will in come in later this year.
"We probably are going to have a lot of yards to reseed this fall," he said.
Until then, Mike Perry will be picking vegetables in his garden and Jay Perry's crews will be blowing leaves. They both will be watching the skies for rain.